St John's Wood prep school downgraded to 'requires improvement'

St John's Wood Pre-Preparatory School has been downgraded to 'requires improvement'

St John's Wood Pre-Preparatory School has been downgraded to 'requires improvement' - Credit: Google

A pre-prep school in St John's Wood has been downgraded to "requires improvement" by an education watchdog.

St John's Wood Pre-Preparatory School was rated as "good" for pupil behaviour and attitudes, as well as for early years provision.

Ofsted inspectors gave a rating of "requires improvement" overall, as well as for the quality of education, personal development, and leadership and management.

The co-educational school, in St John's Hall, Lord's Roundabout, has 39 pupils aged three to seven. It was rated as "outstanding" in 2008, and then "good" in 2011 and 2018.

The report says Years 1 and 2 read daily and are taught phonics, but they are not taught using the same programme as children in Reception, meaning they do not build on prior learning.

Although the range of subjects matches what is taught nationally "too much learning is planned in the moment".

"Lessons are a series of activities, but these are not well sequenced to make sure that pupils are building the core subject knowledge they need," the report adds.

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Inspectors said proprietor Adrian Ellis knows about site safety but has "insufficient oversight of the independent school standards and consequently, doesn't challenge leaders effectively". They said he "does not have enough knowledge and understanding about the curriculum that the school provides" or how weaknesses in planning impact pupils’ learning.

Lessons are taught "in the moment" and the school does not meet obligations regarding personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum, regarding relationships and se education (RSE) and health education. 

The report says the proprietor was "unaware that written RSE and health education policies and curriculums are required, or that consultation with parents and carers is also necessary".

Inspectors said the arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

To improve, Ofsted said leaders should produce RSE and health education policies and "identify and produce a clearly sequenced scheme of work for PSHE that meets the current statutory requirements, and then consult with parents".

It said leaders must ensure that staff are confident to deliver all aspects of the PHSE curriculum and "put systems in place to assure themselves that the school’s new PHSE curriculum is delivered as planned, so that all pupils access it in full".

Adrian Ellis, principal, said: "Obviously we are disappointed by Ofsted's somewhat heavy handed report - mostly on our non compliance of the sex education policy for three to seven year olds.

"We are moving to implement it as soon as possible and will welcome them back .

"After 20 years of running my school - we still send all our children to great schools across London and beyond.

"The parents remain very supportive of us and the report does not reflect their daily experience of my school."